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Video games "lead to weight loss"

Researchers have said that such games are an effective answer to childhood obesity as such a high proportion of British children have access to games consoles such as the Nintendo Wii and XaviX.

These entertainment systems allow players to become actively engaged with the virtual world, for instance by running on a "gaming mat" or swinging a virtual reality tennis racquet.

Tests carried out on children showed that the games can burn up enough calories to prevent weight gain.

Taking advantage of youngsters' passion for video games may be one way to prevent them becoming unfit and overweight, experts suggest.

Researchers Dr Alison McManus and Robin Mellecker gave the children five minute sessions on a seated bowling game, an active bowling game and an action/running game.

They expended 98% more energy playing the active bowling game, and 451% more during the "Action Run" game.

The scientists wrote in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine: "Preventing weight gain requires an energy adjustment of approximately 150 calories per day. The four-fold increase in energy expenditure when playing on the XaviX J-Mat would fill the proposed energy gap, if this game were played for 35 minutes a day."

The active games also caused a significant increase in players' heart rate, said the researchers.

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What do you think about this? Will you incorporate this advice to parents?  Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"I already do! They are desperate to find interventions that their kids will not only benefit from but ENJOY doing, so "exergaming" makes all the sense in the world, and we've seen this happening in our clinic. Parents tell me that they've never seen their kids 'sweat this much' and best of all, they don't want to stop!" - Ernie Medina, Loma Linda, CA